Many foods have the ability to improve your mood. If you have a fairly good diet, you can simply look in your kitchen and find plenty of mood-boosting foods that are both healthy
and delicious. When you are dealing with any mood changes, whether it is more irritability, anger, or just mood swings, it is a good idea to take a look at your health and lifestyle first. While
it might be related to a medical condition that your doctor can help treat, consider what
your current lifestyle is like.
Are you drinking alcohol or caffeine more than normal? Do you get enough exercise?
How is your stress level? I will talk more about the effects of stress on your mood and hormones level later in the year.
Another important aspect of your mood and mental health can be found in the foods you eat. There are quite a few healthy and delicious foods that are not only food for your body, but can help boost your mood as well.
Here are the top 14 foods that are going to give you a nice mood boost.
1. Dark Leafy Greens
The first type of food that can be amazing for your mood is dark, leafy greens. Greens
have a variety of nutrients. These include fiber, which balances your blood sugar, B
vitamins for brain health, as well as iron.
Studies show that iron deficiency is closely linked to anxiety and disrupted
neurotransmitters as well, which provides even more reason to eat these nutritious
Iron also helps to produce energy, which can lead to positive feelings. While it can be
great for boosting your mood, you also want to be sure not to have too much iron. Talk
to your doctor to discuss the right amount.
Salmon acts as a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are exceptional for helping
to boost your mood. Omega-3 fatty acids act as crucial elements in the development of
your nervous system and brain. In geographical areas where the residents eat more
fatty fish, they become less likely to get anxious or depressed, so it makes sense that it
would be good for your mood!
There are also high amounts of protein as well as vitamins B12 and D in omega-3 fatty
foods like salmon. If you haven’t had much salmon before, try adding it into your diet
It is as simple as adding a little bit of salmon on your salad with lots of veggies (and leafy
greens!). You can also make a small serving of blackened salmon with brown rice and steamed
veggies. These provide simple, healthy ways to incorporate salmon into your diet.
Full of tryptophan, turkey produces a neurotransmitter called serotonin. When you have
lower levels of tryptophan in your body, that can lead to less serotonin development as
well as an increase in depression and anxiety. Turkey also has tyrosine, an amino acid
that is related to neurotransmitters.
Turkey is a healthy, low-fat protein option, so it is great for most people’s diets. Whether
you are on a general healthy diet, low-carb or low-fat diet, it is going to work great for
you. Start adding turkey to your salads, have roasted turkey for dinner, or use
ground turkey in place of ground beef in different recipes.
Some other mood-boosting elements of turkey include vitamins B6 and B12, as well as
zinc. Zinc deficiencies often lead to increased occurrences of depression and anxiety.
4. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds act as another rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as nutrients such
as iron, calcium, fiber, and protein. Chia also contains magnesium, which increases
feelings of well-being.
There are so many benefits to chia seeds, that they will not only help aid in boosting
your mood along with these other nutritious foods, but they provide overall health and
wellness for your body and mind.
The easiest way to incorporate more chai seeds into your diet is by adding them to your
smoothie or protein shake.
Eggs were previously thought to be a slightly unhealthy options because of the higher
fat content, but many studies have shown that they don’t have the effect on your
cholesterol than was once predicted. Of course, if your doctor advises against them,
they might still be something to pass up.
However, if you like eggs, definitely add them to your diet to help boost your mood.
They are high in vitamins B12 and D, as well as protein. Eggs have choline, which helps
with your nervous system, mood, and makes neurotransmitters and selenium, an
antioxidant. When you eat antioxidant-rich foods, it helps with your brain health and
boosts your mood.
Next up is lentil, which supply folate, a vitamin that helps your nervous system develop.
Those who are deficient in folate experience higher rates of depression. They also
contain fiber, which helps with blood sugar, protein, vitamin B6, and iron. Vitamin B6
makes neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.
If you are not accustomed to eating lentils, just start small by adding some to salads or
having soup with lentils in them.
The good thing about avocados is that not only do they help boost your mood, but they
are delicious! Many people love eating avocados, but had no idea they could actually be
good for you.Avocados are higher in fat, but it is the healthy type of fat. They contain
fiber and vitamins B6, E and C. Another valuable vitamin you can get from avocados is
B5, which helps your neurotransmitters develop.
8. Fermented Foods
In the past few years, research has shown a definite link between your brain and gut.
Over 90 percent of serotonin gets produced in your digestive system. So, to get your
moods back on track, you will need to prioritize your gut health.
These days, researchers have looked at the link between mood and gut bacteria. Some
meta-analyses even say that probiotics can help with depression.
Whether your fermented food item of choice is sauerkraut, kombucha, or even dairy-
free yogurt, all of these foods are excellent sources of probiotics.
9. Dark Chocolate
There is a reason you tend to feel better and happier after eating chocolate, and it is not
just from the sugar. Chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is amazing for health and
wellness. It contains compounds such as phenylethylamine (for endorphins) and
anandamide, which researchers call the "bliss" chemical. Not only is chocolate a good
source of antioxidants, but it can also improve cognition and mood.
For a healthier option, try to go for the darkest chocolate you are able to enjoy, looking
for lower amounts of sugar in the chocolate.
If you don’t like butter or can’t eat it due to a dairy allergy, you’re in luck! You can
instead use ghee, which is made from butter, but doesn’t have the same effect on your
body. It also happens to be another great food for improving your mood.
Also known as clarified butter, ghee has a lot of nutritious fats as well as vitamin D. It
also helps to heal the digestive tract, which allows your gut bacteria to develop.
11. Sunflower Seeds
A great source of vitamins B6, E, and magnesium, sunflower seeds are a good mood
booster for those with allergies to nuts. You can easily switch any type of nut called for
in a recipe for sunflower seeds.
Try adding sunflower seeds to your salads, or just having a handful of the seeds as a
snack with a piece of fruit or cheese.
Almonds act as an amazing source of protein, vitamin E, fiber, and magnesium. Vitamin
E acts as an antioxidant, which helps fight damage caused by free radicals. This food
item also improves your cognition and memory.
Not only can they help improve your mood and your overall health, but they are really
easy to add to your diet. There are so many ways to incorporate more almonds into
your diet, from dipping apple slices in almond butter, to switching to almond flour in your
baked goods when you want a healthier option.
13. Bell Peppers
Before finishing off this list, we can’t forget about bell peppers. All colors of bell peppers
are great for you, low in fat, low in carbohydrates, and have lots of vitamins and
Bell peppers have the antioxidant vitamin C, which helps the functioning of your nervous
system and the improvement of your cognition. Studies show that vitamin C reduces
your stress and helps with mood.
Last, but not least, are sardines. These are an acquired taste and not mandatory, but a
good option if you enjoy the salty fish. Sardines come with a bunch of mood-boosting
elements. In addition to high levels of vitamin B12, sardines have choline, vitamin D,
protein, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Boosting your mood with food is one of the easiest ways to improve your well-being
over time. You can see results even if you don't overhaul your diet right away. Just
making one or two changes to your diet to include more mood-friendly foods can be just
the thing to change your life for the better.
Whether that change involves getting acquainted with kombucha or keeping a dark
chocolate bar in your drawer "in case of emergency", making tweaks to your diet now